Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 5/27

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If you haven't already, you'll soon hear that this  Memorial Day weekend is the "unofficial start of summer."  Well, summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, so that's still three weeks away.  But this weekend IS an "official" time to slow down, pause, remember and pray for men and women who have died for us, in the service of our nation.  It's all about making and taking time for reflection in a world whose fast pace often leaves such opportunities in the dust.  This poem isn't a prayer (although I find it prayerful) nor is it about Memorial Day.  It IS about slowing down, pausing, taking in what we often miss and savoring all that soothes the soul, remembering, prayerfully, those who loved us with the whole of their lives...

Four Kinds of Lilacs

"Why don't you turn at the next corner,"
she said, "and take another road home.
Let's go past that farm with all the
different colored lilacs."

"That's seven miles out of the way,"
he said. "I wanted to plant the rest
of the corn before evening. We
can look at lilacs some other time."

"It'll take only a few minutes"
she said. "You know that lilacs
aren't in bloom for long—if we
don't go now, it will be too late."

"We drove past there last year,"
he said. "They're like any other lilacs
except for the different colors. The rest
of the year, they're all just bushes."

"They're lilac, purple, white, and pink,"
she said. "And today, with no breeze,
the scent will hang in the air—no flowers
smell as good as lilacs in the spring."

"I thought of planting lilacs once,"
he said, "for a windbreak in the grove.
The good smell lasts only a few days.
I suppose we can go, if we hurry."

"Now slow up," she said.
"Last year, you drove by so fast
we couldn't even get a good look.
It wouldn't hurt to take it easy."

"Well, there they are," he said,
"and looking pretty scraggly—past
full bloom already. You should
have thought of doing this sooner."

- Leo Dengel, in
Home from the Field: Collected Poems




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